Animal Farm

By: George Orwell

Novel Genres

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Animal Fable

An animal fable is a short tale to teach a moral lesson, with animals. Often humorous. Makes a statement about human beings.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fable

Allegory

An allegory is a a representation of an abstract or spiritual meaning through concrete or material forms; figurative treatment of one subject under the guise of another. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/allegory?s=t


Russian communism is a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/communism

Satire

Satire is the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc. Using humor to make fun of human mistakes.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/satire?s=t

Chapter 1

1. Old Major gave an inspirational speech.

2. He encourages the animals to rebel.

3. He says man are beasts and are not to be trusted.

4. He tells the animals the rules they should follow.

5. the animals sing inspirational verses from "Beast of England"

http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/animalfarm/context.html

Chapter 2

1. Old Major dies in his sleep.

2. To fulfill Old Major's death wish the pigs planned to attack Mr. Jones.

3. the tree pigs Snowball, Squealer, and Napoleon create the principles of Animalism.

4. Then animals rebel against Mr. Jones.

5. Changed the name of the farm to Animal Farm.

http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/animalfarm/section2.rhtml

Chapter 3

1. The animals harvested the field in the summer.

2. Each animal is given a specific job and in result they have to biggest harvest ever.

3. The animals make a green flag with a hoof and a horn to represent the workers.

4. Snowball teaches the animals to read and write and at the end of the summer all the animals achieve some kind of literacy.

5. Napoleon raises Jessie's and Bluebell's puppies.

http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/animalfarm/section3.rhtml

Chapter 4

1. Snowball prepares battle defense against Mr. Jones.

2. The animals win another battle against Mr. Jones.

3. Boxer accidentally kills a stable boy.

4. Snowball and Boxer receive an "American Hero, First Class" medal.

http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/animalfarm/section4.rhtml

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Chapter 5

1. Mollie is starting is slack off in work.

2. Mollie is lured away and now she pulls a man's carriage.

3. Napoleon and Snowball still have disagreements.

4. Snowball draws up plans for a windmill.

http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/animalfarm/section5.rhtml

Chapter 6

1. All the animals work extra hard to build the windmill.

2. Squealer makes a plan that if the animals don't work on Sunday afternoons then they won't get food.

3. Napoleon hires Mr. Whymper.

4. The pigs start breaking the seven commandments by sleeping in the bed in the farmhouse.

5. The windmill collapses because of a storm, but the animals blame it on Snowball.

http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/animalfarm/section6.rhtml

Chapter 7

1. The animals struggle to rebuild the windmill.

2. There is a shortage of food.

3. Napoleon started selling the four hundred eggs to the humans in exchange for food.

4. The pigs keep manipulating the animals to believe anything they say.

5. They execute four pigs.

6. Windmill is a sing of hope and Tyrant.

http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/animalfarm/section7.rhtml

Chapter 8

1. One of the seven commandments is changed to "No animal shall kill any other animal without cause"

2. The animals are working even harder to rebuild the windmill.

3. Napoleon has taken the role of "leader".

4. The pigs start to drink and changed another commandment to "No animal should drick alcohol in excess".

http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/animalfarm/section8.rhtml

Chapter 9

1. Boxer is seriously injured, but shows no sign of pain.

2. Food grows even more scarce.

3. Animal farm becomes a republic and Napoleon unanimously becomes president.

4. Boxer falls and is being sent to a slaughterhouse to be turned into glue.

6. Use the money from selling Boxer they use it to buy whiskey.

http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/animalfarm/section9.rhtml

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Chapter 10

1. Many of the animals die.

2. The farm has gotten richer.

3. Only the pigs and the dogs live comfortable lives.

4. The pigs start walking in two legs.

5. The name of the farm is changed back to Manor Farm.

http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/animalfarm/section10.rhtml

Characters and who they symbol

Snowball

The pig who challenges Napoleon for control of Animal Farm after the Rebellion. Based on Leon Trotsky, Snowball is intelligent, passionate, eloquent, and less subtle and devious than his counterpart, Napoleon. Snowball seems to win the loyalty of the other animals and cement his power.

Naopleon

The pig who emerges as the leader of Animal Farm after the Rebellion. Based on Joseph Stalin, Napoleon uses military force (his nine loyal attack dogs) to intimidate the other animals and consolidate his power. In his supreme craftiness, Napoleon proves more treacherous than his counterpart,

Old Major

The prize-winning boar whose vision of a socialist utopia serves as the inspiration for the Rebellion. Three days after describing the vision and teaching the animals the song “Beasts of England,” Major dies, leaving Snowball and Napoleon to struggle for control of his legacy. Orwell based Major on both the German political economist Karl Marx and the Russian revolutionary leader Vladimir Ilych Lenin.
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Mollie

The vain, flighty mare who pulls Mr. Jones’s carriage. Mollie craves the attention of human beings and loves being groomed and pampered. She has a difficult time with her new life on Animal Farm, as she misses wearing ribbons in her mane and eating sugar cubes. She represents the petit bourgeoisie the rich people that fled from Russia a few years after the Russian Revolution.

Benjamin

The long-lived donkey who refuses to feel inspired by the Rebellion. Benjamin firmly believes that life will remain unpleasant no matter who is in charge. Of all of the animals on the farm, he alone comprehends the changes that take place, but he seems either unwilling or unable to oppose the pigs.

Boxer

The cart-horse whose incredible strength, dedication, and loyalty play a key role in the early prosperity of Animal Farm and the later completion of the windmill. Quick to help but rather slow-witted, Boxer shows much devotion to Animal Farm’s ideals but little ability to think about them independently. He naïvely trusts the pigs to make all his decisions for him. His two mottoes are “I will work harder” and “Napoleon is always right.”
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Clover

A good-hearted female cart-horse and Boxer’s close friend. Clover often suspects the pigs of violating one or another of the Seven Commandments, but she repeatedly blames herself for misremembering the commandments.

Moses

The tame raven who spreads stories of Sugarcandy Mountain, the paradise to which animals supposedly go when they die. Moses plays only a small role in Animal Farm, but Orwell uses him to explore how communism exploits religion as something with which to pacify the oppressed. He represents the church.

Squealer

The pig who spreads Napoleon’s propaganda among the other animals. Squealer justifies the pigs’ monopolization of resources and spreads false statistics pointing to the farm’s success. Orwell uses Squealer to explore the ways in which those in power often use rhetoric and language to twist the truth and gain and maintain social and political control.

Muriel

The white goat who reads the Seven Commandments to Clover whenever Clover suspects the pigs of violating their prohibitions.

Mr. Jones

The often drunk farmer who runs the Manor Farm before the animals stage their Rebellion and establish Animal Farm. Mr. Jones is an unkind master who indulges himself while his animals lack food; he thus represents Czar Nicholas II, whom the Russian Revolution ousted.

Mr. Fredrick

The tough, shrewd operator of Pinchfield, a neighboring farm. Based on Adolf Hitler, the ruler of Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 1940s, Mr. Frederick proves an untrustworthy neighbor.

Mr. Pilkington

The easygoing gentleman farmer who runs Foxwood, a neighboring farm. Mr. Frederick’s bitter enemy, Mr. Pilkington represents the capitalist governments of England and the United States.

Mr. Whymper

The human solicitor whom Napoleon hires to represent Animal Farm in human society. Mr. Whymper’s entry into the Animal Farm community initiates contact between Animal Farm and human society, alarming the common animals.

Sheep

The sheep are loyal to the tenets of Animal Farm, often breaking into a chorus of “Four legs good, two legs bad” and later, “Four legs good, two legs better!” The Sheep--true to the typical symbolic meaning of “sheep”--represent those people who have little understanding of their situation and thus are willing to follow their government blindly.

http://www.gradesaver.com/animal-farm/study-guide/character-list

Dogs

The dogs represent the military/police. In the beginning of the book, they voted against accepting the rats & rabbits as 'comrades'. Shortly after the revolution, several 'pups' are stolen from their mothers. Later in the book, these pups (now fully grown - and fully trained) protect Napoleon from a second potential revolution, and help to enforce his decrees. They represent the secret police.

http://www.newspeakdictionary.com/go-animal_farm.html

Ducklings

The ducks represent, like all of the other animals beside the pigs, part of the working class on the farm. In Russian history they represent the peasants.

http://www.answers.com/Q/What_are_ducks_in_Animal_Farm_represent

Motifs

Songs

Animal Farm is filled with songs, poems, and slogans, including Major’s stirring “Beasts of England,” Minimus’s ode to Napoleon, the sheep’s chants, and Minimus’s revised anthem, “Animal Farm, Animal Farm.” All of these songs serve as propaganda, one of the major conduits of social control. By making the working-class animals speak the same words at the same time, the pigs evoke an atmosphere of grandeur and nobility associated with the recited text’s subject matter. The songs also erode the animals’ sense of individuality and keep them focused on the tasks by which they will purportedly achieve freedom.

http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/animalfarm/themes.html

Rituals

As Animal Farm shifts gears from its early revolutionary fervor to a phase of consolidation of power in the hands of the few, national rituals become an ever more common part of the farm’s social life. Military awards, large parades, and new songs all proliferate as the state attempts to reinforce the loyalty of the animals. The increasing frequency of the rituals bespeaks the extent to which the working class in the novella becomes ever more reliant on the ruling class to define their group identity and values.

http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/animalfarm/themes.html

Themes

The Corruption of Socialist Ideals in the Soviet Union

Animal Farm is most famous in the West as a stinging critique of the history and rhetoric of the Russian Revolution. Retelling the story of the emergence and development of Soviet communism in the form of an animal fable, Animal Farm allegorizes the rise to power of the dictator Joseph Stalin. In the novella, the overthrow of the human oppressor Mr. Jones by a democratic coalition of animals quickly gives way to the consolidation of power among the pigs. Much like the Soviet intelligentsia, the pigs establish themselves as the ruling class in the new society.The struggle for preeminence between Leon Trotsky and Stalin emerges in the rivalry between the pigs Snowball and Napoleon. In both the historical and fictional cases, the idealistic but politically less powerful figure (Trotsky and Snowball) is expelled from the revolutionary state by the malicious and violent usurper of power (Stalin and Napoleon). The purges and show trials with which Stalin eliminated his enemies and solidified his political base find expression in Animal Farm as the false confessions and executions of animals whom Napoleon distrusts following the collapse of the windmill. Stalin’s tyrannical rule and eventual abandonment of the founding principles of the Russian Revolution are represented by the pigs’ turn to violent government and the adoption of human traits and behaviors, the trappings of their original oppressors.

Although Orwell believed strongly in socialist ideals, he felt that the Soviet Union realized these ideals in a terribly perverse form. His novella creates its most powerful ironies in the moments in which Orwell depicts the corruption of Animalist ideals by those in power. For Animal Farm serves not so much to condemn tyranny or despotism as to indict the horrifying hypocrisy of tyrannies that base themselves on, and owe their initial power to, ideologies of liberation and equality. The gradual disintegration and perversion of the Seven Commandments illustrates this hypocrisy with vivid force, as do Squealer’s elaborate philosophical justifications for the pigs’ blatantly unprincipled actions. Thus, the novella critiques the violence of the Stalinist regime against the human beings it ruled, and also points to Soviet communism’s violence against human logic, language, and ideals.

The Societal Tendency toward Class Stratification

Animal Farm offers commentary on the development of class tyranny and the human tendency to maintain and reestablish class structures even in societies that allegedly stand for total equality. The novella illustrates how classes that are initially unified in the face of a common enemy, as the animals are against the humans, may become internally divided when that enemy is eliminated. The expulsion of Mr. Jones creates a power vacuum, and it is only so long before the next oppressor assumes totalitarian control. The natural division between intellectual and physical labor quickly comes to express itself as a new set of class divisions, with the “brainworkers” (as the pigs claim to be) using their superior intelligence to manipulate society to their own benefit. Orwell never clarifies in Animal Farm whether this negative state of affairs constitutes an inherent aspect of society or merely an outcome contingent on the integrity of a society’s intelligentsia. In either case, the novella points to the force of this tendency toward class stratification in many communities and the threat that it poses to democracy and freedom.

The Danger of a Naïve Working Class

One of the novella’s most impressive accomplishments is its portrayal not just of the figures in power but also of the oppressed people themselves. Animal Farm is not told from the perspective of any particular character, though occasionally it does slip into Clover’s consciousness. Rather, the story is told from the perspective of the common animals as a whole. Gullible, loyal, and hardworking, these animals give Orwell a chance to sketch how situations of oppression arise not only from the motives and tactics of the oppressors but also from the naïveté of the oppressed, who are not necessarily in a position to be better educated or informed. When presented with a dilemma, Boxer prefers not to puzzle out the implications of various possible actions but instead to repeat to himself, “Napoleon is always right.” Animal Farm demonstrates how the inability or unwillingness to question authority condemns the working class to suffer the full extent of the ruling class’s oppression.

The Abuse of Language as Instrumental to the Abuse of Power

One of Orwell’s central concerns, both in Animal Farm and in 1984, is the way in which language can be manipulated as an instrument of control. In Animal Farm, the pigs gradually twist and distort a rhetoric of socialist revolution to justify their behavior and to keep the other animals in the dark. The animals heartily embrace Major’s visionary ideal of socialism, but after Major dies, the pigs gradually twist the meaning of his words. As a result, the other animals seem unable to oppose the pigs without also opposing the ideals of the Rebellion. By the end of the novella, after Squealer’s repeated reconfigurations of the Seven Commandments in order to decriminalize the pigs’ treacheries, the main principle of the farm can be openly stated as “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” This outrageous abuse of the word “equal” and of the ideal of equality in general typifies the pigs’ method, which becomes increasingly audacious as the novel progresses. Orwell’s sophisticated exposure of this abuse of language remains one of the most compelling and enduring features of Animal Farm, worthy of close study even after we have decoded its allegorical characters and events.

Freedom and individual dignity must be guarded carefully

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Language is a powerful tool. If it is used improperly, it can enslave and confuse us

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Top 10 Notes: Animal Farm